You may have heard of the locavore trend that has been gripping the nation, but have you ever considered growing your own oxygen? It might sound like a science experiment, but it’s very easy and can improve the look and feel of your bedroom while making it a healthier place to live and sleep.There are several things you can do to increase oxygen and improve air quality in the bedroom.
Indoor air pollution can be anywhere from 2 to over 100 times as high as outdoor pollution. We seal our homes so they will stay cool when we want and warm when we need. While this is great from an energy efficiency standpoint, it can make your home an unhealthy place.
We spend a lot of time and do a lot of heavy breathing in the bedroom. By improving the air quality and oxygen levels there, you will be exposed to less pollutants and wake up feeling better and more energized.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
All around us in the air are volatile organic compounds. These organic chemicals are gaseous at room temperature. Many of the materials we use to build our homes and furniture offgas these VOCs into the local environment. Though found both indoors and outdoors, indoor spaces tend to have higher amounts in the air. This is partly because indoor spaces are less ventilated.
VOCs include myriad chemicals and some are associated with adverse health effects, some short term, and some longer term. Effects range from simple eye and nose irritation to liver damage and several types of cancers. Long-term exposure should be avoided if possible. There is no good reason to allow these to accumulate in your home and you can do something about it.
Oxygen: What is it Good For?
Oxygen is required for cellular respiration to occur. All animal life depends on this process to occur in each and every one of our cells. Through this process we are able to retrieve energy that is cached in carbohydrates, lipids and fats. Without oxygen, we wouldn’t have the energy we need for all of our bodily processes from digesting and breathing to thinking and moving.
Increasing the oxygen levels can benefit your health, especially if you have a condition limiting your intake. Sleep apnea, emphysema and other afflictions can make it difficult to get all the oxygen you need. Low oxygen levels can cause a number of problems, including death. There are ways to increase the amount of oxygen in your home.
Increasing Oxygen and Reducing Toxic Chemicals
In the global ecosystems, plants create the oxygen that is present in the air all around us. They use water and sunlight to convert the CO2 animals exhale into oxygen and sugars. Tropical rainforests create about 20% of all of the world’s oxygen, but you don’t need a tropical forest to create enough oxygen to make a difference.
There are a few plants that are easy to take care of that you can put in your bedroom and throughout your house to clean the air and give off oxygen. All you need to do is make sure they have enough water, light and heat to survive and give them some nutrients occasionally, too. Here are a few of the best plants to produce oxygen in your bedroom.
- Mother-in-law’s tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata) – This plant is perfect for the bedroom. They store energy during the day so they can create oxygen throughout the night. Place a few of these near your bed to improve oxygen levels near your bed. Sansevierias are also very effective at removing toluene and ethylbenzene among other toxic chemicals and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air. They can survive with little care and water.
- Areca palm (Dypsis lutescens) – According to research done by NASA, the areca palm is one of the best air purifying plants. It is highly effective at removing VOCs and it produces a lot of oxygen. This plant also transpires about a liter of water every day, making it a great humidifier. Areca palms require slightly more work than others. You should wipe the leaves with a wet towel once a week.
- Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) – Pothos are called money plants and devil’s ivy among other names. This is a plant already commonly found in many homes in different forms. It is hardy and requires little light and attention. Pothos is especially effective at removing VOCs like formaldehyde from the air.
Low VOC Mattresses
One of the best ways to keep VOCs from being a problem in your bedroom is to keep them out as best you can. There are a number of different mattresses and bedding supplies you can buy that produce few, if any harmful emissions.
Organic latex mattresses are comprised of foams that are entirely plant-derived and organically produced. They are known to produce very low levels of VOCs, likely the lowest of any mattress on the market.
Plant-based memory foam mattresses are also good options for concerned shoppers. These mattresses are made using a mixture of synthetic and plant-based foams. Typically products that use natural materials emit fewer VOCs than synthetics, so find out what your mattress is made from.
One plant-based memory foam mattress company is going above and beyond in the pursuit to keep our bedrooms and bodies healthy. Amerisleep mattresses are all wrapped in celliant-infused covers. Celliant is a thermoreactive material that converts heat into infrared energy. This material has been clinically proven to improve circulation, increase blood-oxygen levels and reduce pain.
Natural mattress covers made from materials like wool, cotton or bamboo are all good options to look for, too. There are many companies that are catering to customers who are aware of VOCs and are environmentally conscious.
Do What You Can to Improve Your Sleep Space
There are other types of gadgets and gizmos on the market to help improve the air in your bedroom. Various filters and air purifiers can be very helpful, but they will run up your electricity bill and most need to have filters replaced. They can be noisy and unsightly, also. That’s why plants are a better option. They are solar powered, quiet and beautiful.
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” Wise words from Theodore Roosevelt. In the end, just do what you can to improve your bedroom air quality. All plants produce oxygen and purify the air, some are just better than others. If you’re shopping for new bedroom accessories, be mindful of what they are made of.
In the end, just opening a window could help, but you can’t always do that. If you set your bedroom up right, you could end up with cleaner air than the outdoors. You’ll be surprised at how good you feel when you wake up.